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Kenya’s e-commerce startup, tappi partners with KNCCI to launch digital services for MSMEs

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Kenya’s e-commerce startup, tappi, has announced a strategic partnership with the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KNCCI), to launch digital services for MSMEs in the country.

Co-founder and CEO of tappi, Kenfield Griffith, who announced the signing of the announced the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the KNCCI, the collaboration will see the launching of a Sukuma Biz initiative which will enable tappi to deliver a unique package of digital services specifically geared towards bolstering online credibility and identity for the KNCCI’s 30,000 business members.

“KNCCI is one of Kenya’s most trusted industry bodies and with its extensive network of local businesses, they’re an ideal partner to accelerate our mission of empowering MSMEs to effectively establish strong reputations of their own in an online setting,” said Griffith.

“In order for this initiative to be successful, it was vital we worked alongside a partner with not only a strong, in-depth understanding of the most critical pain points Kenyan businesses face, but also the demographics which are most heavily affected by them.

“With this in mind, we’re incredibly proud to be joined by KNCCI on what we believe is not only a crucial step for MSMEs, but specifically women-led businesses, in equipping them with the digital tools to significantly drive Kenya’s economy forward,” he added.

Founded in 2022 by Griffith and Louis Majanja, tappi is an end-to-end digital commerce SaaS solution tailored for MSMEs, which allows business owners to download its app, add their “look and feel”, and promote their business through a three-step process that goes to Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Instagram Ads using airtime credit or mobile money.

Also speaking on the partnership, Majanja said tappi has been on a “rapid growth journey capturing verified reviews on over US$3 million consumer transactions and engaging with over 150,000 consumers.”

He added that the startup had raised $1.5 million in December of 2023 through an oversubscribed pre-seed round of funding, and it recently made Ivory Coast its third market, having already moved into Nigeria.

“For a monthly fee of KES500, KNCCI members will receive their own business landing page on tappi’s platform featuring a KNCCI logo as well as access to 50 customer reviews via SMS, WhatsApp or additional channels, which will be integrated to their landing page.

“Members will also be able to send 250 text marketing messages directly to their customers.

“Leveraging tappi’s SaaS and enterprise-grade solutions, all KNCCI members will be able to generate SEO-optimised websites in less than two minutes based on eight simple questions devised by an intuitive chat tool,” he added.

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American risk management solutions provider Archer opens business in Egypt

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American risk management solutions provider, Archer, has announced expanding its operations to Africa with Egypt as the first point of call.

While opening the Archer Integrated Risk Management (IRM) office in New Cairo, Egyptian Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat, said the company couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate location for its business than the North African country.

The opening ceremony witnessed the presence of key dignitaries including Ahmed Elzaher, CEO of the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA), Sarah Kahler, Senior Director of Business Operations at Archer IRM and a member of the company’s Executive Leadership Team, Matt Tinsley, Senior Director of Global Services at Archer IRM, Rasha El Kaliouby, Director and General Manager at Archer IRM in Egypt, alongside officials from the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT), Archer in the United States (US), and various markets.

The Minister said the inauguration of the Archer IRM office at Cairo Festival City Business Park aligns with the company’s expansion strategy to bolster its presence in the Egyptian market.

Archer had last year, earmarked Cairo as the location for Archer’s first office in the Middle East.

The company said it aims to expand its operations from its Egyptian base into other countries in the continent and currently, the office boasts a team of over 140 talented employees specializing in engineering, research and development (R&D), technical support, sales, pre-sales, marketing, and customer services in more than nine languages, among other professional services.

In his remarks, the Egyptian ICT Minister emphasized that the efficiency and ability of Egyptian youth to harness technology contributed to making the ICT sector the fastest-growing state sector nationwide for five years in a row and an attractive destination for investments by ICT multinationals.

He underlined that Archer IRM office opening and planning to expand its operations in Egypt come as part of the efforts to develop Egypt’s capabilities in the outsourcing industry and attract multinationals to establish their outsourcing centers, run by Egyptian youth specializing in various ICT disciplines.

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How Nigerian online connection hub Workjeje helps with access to quality service providers

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A Nigerian online connection hub, Workjeje, has revealed how it is connecting individuals and corporate bodies to quality service providers in their vicinity, while catering to urban dwellers that prioritise quality and convenience in the services they seek.

The startup which was founded in 2021 by the trio of Fortune Nwankwo, Collins Onyebuchi and Ejike Anthony, who were students at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, has evolved into one of the most sought after hub in major cities in the country.

According to Nwankwo, Workjeje, unlike other competitors in the Nigerian market, focuses on quantity of artisans with a strong focus on quality.

“It was really hard to get service providers, let alone reliable ones. They were so unserious, they’d tell you they would come in the afternoon and show up four days later, and worst of all might deliver mediocre services,” Nwankwo said in an interview.

“Collins called me one day into his house to share his proposed solution to me, so I called my friend Wisdom – who is a programmer – to build it, and that was how Workjeje started.

“We had customers asking if the artisans were pre-vetted, which of course is a pain point for them, especially for women who would love to feel safe when a stranger is in their home.

“We pre-vet our artisans by onboarding them ourselves, and still monitor their contracts and ratings to maintain optimum quality.

“Customer feedback has been really important to us. At the test phase, some customers believed our vetting process was not very thorough, and some artisans did not look the part.

“We listened, we churned a lot of unserious artisans, we made sure we vetted the artisans ourselves, and we prioritised service companies because they have more to lose,” he added.

Workjeje is currently operating in Abuja and Enugu as test markets, and is taking its growth plan seriously and slowly, he stated.

“We were funded twice by friends – first at the building stage and the second at the marketing phase.

“Getting 10 successful transactions was a major booster for us even though we were still in the testing phase. It showed us people actually were ready to pay for the convenience we provide. Right now we have processed over 70 transactions.”

Recently, Workjeje completed a new feature that its artisans had been asking for – an escrow service, primarily designed for delivery services to protect themselves against unpaid bills.

On how the platform makes money for survival, Nwankwo said:

“The startup collects between five and 10 per cent from its artisans as fees, depending on its agreement with them, Workjeje also plans to incorporate advertisements on its platform in the near future.

“We plan on expanding to major states and cities across Nigeria, and in time Africa to limit the macro influence on our business.”

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